Whitetails Unlimited Hunting Heritage Awards: Dr. Marty Brunson

Whitetails Unlimited Magazine
Summer 2017
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The Hunting Heritage Award is presented by Whitetails Unlimited in recognition of leadership and accomplishments in the areas of conservation, education, and the preservation of the hunting tradition – the essence of the mission of Whitetails Unlimited. It is the most prominent award presented by Whitetails Unlimited to individuals, organizations, or companies in the outdoor industry.

Earlier this year at the Archery Trade Show in Indianapolis, WTU President Jeff Schinkten was able to present one individual and one company with the Hunting Heritage Award. The Outtech rep group is the premier representative organization in the archery business, and they have a major event every year, called Innovations, the night before the ATA show opens. This is intended to highlight their clients for buyer attending the show, and Outtech has been very kind in allowing WTU to present these awards in front of this important audience.

Dr. Marty Brunson, CEO of the Catch-A-Dream Foundation, has been named as the winner of the WTU Hunting Heritage Award – Individual, for leadership and accomplishment in the areas of conservation, education, and the preservation of the hunting tradition.

Brunson was recognized for his efforts in creating and providing continuous leadership for the Catch-A-Dream Foundation since its inception in 2000. He oversees all operations, finances, resource development, personnel, and programs.

Catch-A-Dream is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that provides hunting and fishing outdoor adventures to seriously ill children, and includes the entire family. Through these adventures, and exposure to outdoors-minded people who care, the program instills a message of encouragement for children and their families at a time when they need to know that hope does indeed exist.

A major point in the program is that families incur no expense. These families are already under financial stress, so all expenses are fully covered, including travel, meals, lodging, licenses, fees, taxidermy, and so on. The organization’s objective is to create a memorable experience for both the child and family that is not clouded by financial considerations. The program provides a break for children who are “…sick and tired of being sick and tired!” The child’s physician plays a major role in determining whether that child’s condition will allow for particular dreams to be coordinated, and safety in every aspect is a prime consideration.

To date, Catch-A-Dream has completed almost 600 trips to 29 states, harvesting 71 species of animals. They have served children from 45 states and two Canadian provinces. Each trip has an average cost of $4,500, of which the family pays nothing. For more information about Catch-A-Dream, and how to support the program, visit their website.

“We’re extremely proud to present this award to Dr. Marty Brunson, and are humbled to be able to help in a small way with Catch-A-Dream,” said WTU President Jeff Schinkten. “Marty has touched many, many lives in a positive way, helping children and families during extremely stressful times, and creating memories that will be cherished forever. We’re honored to be able to recognize this outstanding ambassador of the outdoor community.”